THE Green Party's only MP has backed Nicola Sturgeon's claim that a 'progressive alliance' could be formed between their parties at Westminster.


Caroline Lucas, who defeated Labour to win in the Brighton Pavilion constituency at 2010, told a conference of the Green Party for England and Wales that she wants to "forge a new grouping in Parliament" with the nationalists.

Like the SNP, the Greens have increased their membership substantially since the last General Election, with the party rivalling the Liberal Democrats in recent polls.

Ms Lucas said: "With the rise of the SNP, and with our own Green surge, we have the chance to forge a new grouping in Parliament. A progressive alliance.

"Of course, in Scotland and in Wales we'll be fighting hard for our distinctive values and policies. Just as we do against those individual Labour and even Lib Dem candidates with whom we have something in common. That's the nature of British politics under the first past the post system."

Meanwhile, the Scottish Green Party, which has seen its membership rise from around 1,000 to more than 8,000 in a year, is set to meet for its own Spring conference in Dundee. For the first time, Green candidates are standing in the majority of Scotland's Westminster constituencies at the general election.

MSP and party co-convener Patrick Harvie has announced his support for a £10 minimum wage ahead of the conference, a policy that is also backed by the Scottish Socialist Party.

The Greens believe that the £6.50 minimum wage should rise to the living wage of £7.85 immediately, going up to £10 by 2020.

Mr Harvie said: "Raising the minimum wage to a living wage would help create the more equal society Greens want to see.

"It's a scandal that so many working Scots are in poverty. Our candidates are out campaigning for more local jobs with good wages, in contrast to the other parties who are jostling to give big business and polluting industries further tax breaks.

"Small and medium-sized businesses are the bedrock of Scotland's economy and we want to see them flourish. The living wage is good for our society and good for the employees who make companies successful. Green ideas on jobs and wages would help realise Scotland's potential."